The term Black Tie indicates men should wear a classic black tuxedo with a white dress stiff or pleated-front shirt and a bow tie or, as seen more often today, a skinny black tie. Black bow ties will always be considered classic Black Tie, though, and the width of ties is subject to the current trends. Black cummerbunds are a traditional element of Black Tie attire, though we are not big fans of them. A black low-cut vest can be substituted for the cummerbund. The look is finished off by black dress socks and black patent or highly-polished leather shoes. Men should not see vests or cummerbunds at Black Tie events as an opportunity to express their personal style; black is classic for a reason.
Ladies attending a Black Tie event should wear a conservative cocktail dress or a long evening gown, though the details vary based on local custom, current fashion and the time of day the Black Tie event is taking place.